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Do I Really Need a Home Security System?

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Home security can include anything from a carbon monoxide detector to a siren that alerts law enforcement when a window breaks. But is an alarm system necessary?

You need a home security system if you're living in a high-risk area, leaving for extended periods, or just wanting peace of mind that your home is protected. Even if you live in a safe neighborhood, home security can improve the value of your house and lower your insurance costs.

This article will cover the benefits and disadvantages of using a home monitoring system. You'll learn how to use one most effectively, what to know before buying, and whether an alarm system is right for you.

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Reasons to Get a Home Security System

There are several reasons for getting home security. Let’s explore these reasons together.

A Home Security System Helps Prevent Crime

If you're considering a home security system, your priority is likely to improve the safety of your home. The good news is several studies prove the efficacy of security systems against burglary and other crimes.

One five-year study found that alarm systems in homes were effective at preventing crime. The security systems made homes less attractive to intruders, and neighborhoods with more alarm systems saw fewer instances of break-ins.

Another study showed that security systems are most productive when placed in vulnerable areas like doors, windows, and other entries. When correctly installed and located, the alarm systems deterred criminals.

They were also valuable for caregivers in making sure older relatives were safe at all times.

Having Home Security Can Lower Your Home Insurance Costs

One surprising benefit is that home monitoring systems lower insurance costs. These systems don't just work against crime; they can also prevent other hazards like fires, property damage, and more.

With the added protection, your homeowner insurance is likely to go down by up to 20%. Any homeowner will tell you a lower rate is worth the upfront cost of an alarm system.

Security Systems Add Value to Your Home

Home security systems don't just make life better while you live in your house, they can also be beneficial if you sell your house. The use of a home monitoring system can increase buyer appeal.

Buyers are more interested in homes with added benefits like security systems. The peace of mind they foresee increases with an alarm system, and prices for your property will go up.

Reasons Not to Get a Home Security System

Though home security systems come with some significant benefits, there are a few disadvantages to consider.

The Upfront Cost and Monthly Payments Aren’t Cheap

Unsurprisingly, an advanced home security system is an investment. Most plans have an upfront cost for the equipment and set-up, followed by monthly payments for professional monitoring.

Though the upfront cost and monthly payments might be hard to fit into your budget, the peace of mind is priceless. And, if the system ever deters a burglar or notifies you of potential damage, you will save thousands.

Security Systems Sometimes Give False Alarms

There are millions of false alarms from home security systems each year. False alarms have two downsides. First, they can cause you unnecessary anxiety or panic. Second, if you have consistent false alarms, police may be slower to reach you in an actual emergency.

The most common causes are user error, improper installation, pests chewing through wires, and broken equipment. These are all easily preventable, so take time making sure your equipment is in working condition, and it shouldn't be an issue.

Security Systems Are at Risk of Hacking

Hacking is a rare occurrence, but it is possible. Because home security systems use wireless technology, a hacker can technically find and break into the signal.

However, your home security system is no more vulnerable than your cell phone or baby monitor. If possible, use password-protected signals, and you will likely never deal with this problem.

How to Determine if You Need a Home Security System

To determine whether you need a home security system, we'll look at different living situations and the risks involved. In general, it is a good idea to have one to protect your family and home, but it is more helpful in some situations than others.

Consider the Criminal Risks in Your Area

Some professionals recommend security systems for certain living situations. For example, if you live in a high-crime area, just moved to your new home, or leave your residence for extended periods, you are at higher risk for criminal activity.

If You Live in a House

Security alarm systems are most popular in homes because there are more vulnerable areas for a burglar to enter through, and other damages are more likely to occur.

Even if no one tries to break into your home to steal valuables, anyone can easily steal whatever they can find outside your home, especially if you don't have an outdoor gate. 

If You Live in an Apartment

Fewer apartment owners have security systems because apartment complexes offer gates, CCTV cameras, and security guards. However, if your complex is in a high-crime area, you might consider one.

Monitored vs. Unmonitored Home Security Systems

If you decide to buy a home security system, there are a few critical factors to look into. To get the safest option for your home, consider the contract and whether you want it monitored or unmonitored.

The contract will determine how long you are tied to the security system and receive monitoring and warranty. Consider whether you are permanently in your home or plan to move in the next few years, as many contracts extend for 3-5 years.

An unmonitored home security system puts you in charge of managing the security breaches. These are often less expensive but do not notify authorities in case of emergency. 

On the other hand, monitored systems send alerts to a team of professionals to contact local law enforcement when necessary. Deciding between these two types of home monitoring will determine your price and level of comfort.

Conclusion

While security systems are an investment, they can save you time, money, and stress. They can even lower your insurance costs and raise the value of your home. Just ensure your system is installed correctly to prevent hacking and false alarms.

Home security systems are a huge advantage for homeowners and residents of apartments. If you have any concerns over criminal activity, property damage, or the safety of your home, you should consider installing one.

Simplisafe

Simplisafe is for homes of all sizes and is built with unprecedented safeguards to keep your home protected against power outages, downed Wi-Fi, cut landlines, and physical attacks from hammers, bats, and more.

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